artists

Featured artist: Samanta Batra Mehta

Samanta Batra Mehta, Museum of my Mind (detail), Art print on acid free paper, 9.75″ x 13″, 2018

This week, we welcome New York City-based artist Samanta Batra Mehta. Mehta’s work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and art fairs internationally including at the Queens Museum of the Arts, Hunterdon Museum, Taubman Museum of Art, Fondazione Fotographia and Artopia in Milan, Shrine Empire, Sakshi Gallery and Tarq in India, Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Dubai and Salon Du Dessin Contemporain in Paris, among others. Mehta was nominated for the Forbes India Art Award. She was also awarded the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant and Wave Hill’s Winter Workspace Residency in the US. More of her work can be viewed on her website and Instagram page.

Illusion of identity and salvation series (detail), Mixed media on acid free paper, from set of 6, 8.5 x 11 inches, 2019

Mehta says “My artwork explores the human condition and the environment we inhabit. Themes in identity, memory, personal history, the body and the socio-political are depicted and debated in my multi-layered works that employ drawing, found objects, text, photo and installation. I re-purpose collected antiquarian objects, imagery and texts along with my own drawings to render a reimagined history.  In my visual vocabulary, the human form and anatomical imagery is intertwined with foliage and nature.

Return to the garden, Ink drawings with hand dipped stylus, vintage/antiquarian photographs, book pages, map, approx. 75 x 75 inches, 2019

Nature/land/landscape is seen as a metaphor for the body (and vice-versa) and as a site for germination, nourishment, degradation, trespass, plunder, colonization and transgression. Migration has spanned the last four generations in my family. I spent my early childhood living on a ship sailing across the world and have lived on three continents since then. The theme of migration appears often in my work where I examine what it means to be rooted in a constant state of flux. As an incorrigible collector, my collections (of antiquarian maps, books, engravings and vintage objects) and my resultant artworks, give me a sense of permanence and points of reference in my shifting physical and emotional geographies.”

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